Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by CMA,AUD: 1/14/10
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We were amongst the unhappy cruisers waiting desperately to get on board 1/14/10. We were forewarned by the cruise line and the situation was still handled very poorly but once the ordeal was behind us we had a wonderful trip. We boarded at about six and sailed at 9:15pm.
The ship was in pretty good shape, she is ten years old, you could see some of the work that had been done in dry dock but we still had an old TV, not that it mattered because the tv choices on board are awful, and run in a loop. That got very old on a ten night voyage. One problem we had throughout the voyage was the vacuum system that runs the toilets went down several times, often the whole floor would be out, sometimes individual cabins and very often public rest rooms were closed. That was extremely annoying! Otherwise the cabin was very nice and our room steward did a good job of keeping things clean, although she did have some difficulty figuring our schedule out, we would return from dinner and she More still had not been in, we had early seating. The bed was comfortable, storage was adequate for two people, we over packed, and I bought too much for warm weather and not enough for cool weather.
There were activities planned but not a lot, the general tone of the cruise was pretty calm. There were many senior citizens on board, I had heard that was the case on longer voyages. We are 47 and 50 years old, there were plenty of others in our age group and some families, not many young people, this is not a party cruise. We enjoy quiet spaces for reading and relaxing and we had no problem finding that. We rarely participate in planned activities but do enjoy watching them, very hard to find, I think it's difficult with the combo of cold days so the pool deck is not the main focus area and the Promenade is just too small to accommodate that many passengers.
The food on board was generally good, I feel they are trying to cut costs a bit, every dinner we had in the dining room was very good, the food at the Windjammer was fine, not great but typical buffet food. Deserts were disappointing throughout the ship, I had a couple that were good but mostly they were not worth the calories. We had sailed on RCCL before and one thing we loved was going to Cafe Promenade for snacks and coffee. The cookies had been so good, not anymore, very disappointing. Pizza was OK, had a sandwich that was good too. Generally the food quality has gone down, Princess & Carnival is much better. On the Princess and Carnival ships we have been on there is an awesome grill where you could get a burger, hot dog, grilled chicken sandwich. On this ship they came from a pan and were not very tasty. We enjoyed afternoon snack in the windjammer, nachos and the few deserts that were good came from there.
We used the gym, very nice. Didn't use the pools or hot tubs. The wireless Internet was difficult to navigate and the people working at guest relations were clueless about it. I feel it should be offered at no additional cost.
I climbed the rock wall, it was fun and much harder to do than I thought it would be.
Another area the cruise line is clearly cutting costs is on entertainment. Some of it was OK but very very low budget!
Service through out the ship was very good, all very friendly and helpful staff. We were very impressed by the captain's upbeat personality, very nice man.
Other passengers were, for the most part very nice, some people feel they are better but I find that to be true almost everywhere.
We are not line loyal people, would sail on RCCL again if the price and itinerary were the one we are looking for. The lines we have sailed are so similar, more similar than different in fact. This was not the best cruise we have been on, but it was very nice. Less
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